Trigger warning: depression, suicidal attempt
My first memory of depression as a kid was when I was 9. I wrote “I wish I was dead” all over the concrete floor of my bedroom, under my bed so nobody would see it.
When my mother found it accidentally one day, she spent the afternoon silently mopping my bedroom floor.
We never spoke about it.
Throughout my childhood, it felt as though nobody saw me or felt my pain. It was an invisible ache that haunted my days and caused me to lay awake most nights.
When I became an adult, my anxiety hit me like a train and my depression deepened. I was seen as a happy, even joyful young adult and was constantly praised for my beautiful smile and attitude. I felt as though if I stopped smiling, I would let everyone around me down. So I kept pretending I was cheerful. I kept pretending I was fine. It physically hurt a lot of the time, like I had to paste on a smile but something was clawing at my insides.
I remember all the depression and anxiety culminating in an attempt on my own life. Obviously, I failed since I’m sitting here writing this. I was so embarrassed that I never told anyone until years later, sitting in the therapist’s office.
My therapist asked me a question that I had never considered. She said, “Do you feel that your family would be better off without you?”
When I nodded my head silently because tears choked up my throat, I knew I needed help. Desperately. It was like a dam broke and waves of tears flowed out. I was put on stabilizers and put through what felt like endless therapy sessions until I could function, but the depression and anxiety has never fully retreated. I don’t believe it ever will. It’s all about managing and being aware of yourself.
The invisible battle we are fighting looks different for everyone, but it’s very much there in many of us.
For me, it looks like a combination of anxiety and depression, resulting in a constant battle.
The house is dirty. I should clean it.
I don’t care enough to clean it. But I feel guilty for not cleaning it.
I said I would go to this event, but I just have no energy. I don’t care enough to go. But I care enough to stress myself out over it so much that I have a panic attack on the bathroom floor.
I know I need to go to work today. I have rent to pay next week. But I don’t care. Rent is pointless. But I need to pay rent. Rent keeps me in a home.
The war in my head is exhausting. It takes so much energy to just get to 12:45 p.m., when I drop my daughter off at school, that on some days, I have to go home and lay in my bed.
It takes so much effort to even get in the car at times after spending hours trying to talk myself OUT of doing something or come up with a good excuse.
I’m writing this because I want to apologize for all the times I was flaky, but I want to say that I have a good reason. I’m battling an invisible threat and I am exhausted.
I’m sorry for the ways it has affected my friends and family. And I’m sorry that it probably will continue. But I love my friends and I hope they can continue to show me grace. I hope that every time I show up for an event or call them or text them, they know how loved they are.
I’m grateful for my beautiful friends who continue to accept me for who I truly am.